I’ve been a successful participant in National Novel Writing Month three out of the past eight years. One thing each of those years had in common was a panicked realization that I hadn’t written or produced anything of value for most of that previous year. All it takes, really, is an aggressive and firm deadline and a well-defined deliverable.
But fiction isn’t what I want to do right now. Hasn’t been for a while. Also, since when did any NaNo project turn out a quality result?
What I want to do, and what I haven’t been doing, is making games. Unfortunately, building up a “promising” playable prototype hasn’t been sufficient to hold my interest when there are so many other fun things going on.
I moved into a new apartment three months ago and my whiteboards have barely changed at all since then. My printer is still sitting in my bedroom closet. My paper cutter is languishing desperately in a drawer with my notebooks, index cards, and other prototyping supplies. To be fair, my mother died about six weeks ago. And the weeks leading up to her passing were quite full.
But, every time I look at any of this stuff - this game-making stuff - I feel depressed. Like I’ve been neglecting a friend. Not just any friend, either, but a life-long friend who has always been there when things are bad or good, and now I’m realizing that I’ve been taking that friend for granted and wondering how I would feel if our roles were reversed. Anthropomorphizing a hobby? Maybe. But the feeling is real, and I have a real need to turn it around.
So what, now? A publicly-stated commitment. No more sitting around waiting for inspiration to strike at an opportune time.
This month, I will finish a game. It will be published and you will be able to buy it (probably at The Game Crafter). Yes, in a month.
On or before November 30, I will take the last step before self-publishing: ordering myself a production copy of my game to review before release. I’ll share my progress here. There will be pics.
I hope you enjoy it even more than I do.